Common Standards, Fractured Tests


Reposted from the New York Times:

Despite some defections and political hand-wringing, 42 states are still signed on for the mathematics part of the Common Core standards, which specify the skills that should be mastered in kindergarten through high school. The plan for common testing, however, has fractured.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has dwindled to 12 states plus the District of Columbia. New York, a member of PARCC, will continue to use its own Common Core-inspired test. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has 21 states participating, but four members will not use the tests, at least not this school year. A survey by Education Week found that less than half of public school students would take either test this year.

Even with the fracturing, millions of students will take the brand-new PARCC and Smarter Balanced tests next spring. New Jersey is all-in with PARCC, and judging from my observations at back-to-school night, many, many parents have no idea what is coming. So I sat down and took the practice version of PARCC’s fourth-grade math test to see what my daughter would be facing. (Smarter Balanced also offers sample tests.)

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